MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Diocese of New Ulm has filed for bankruptcy protection, becoming the 14th diocese nationwide to file for reorganization after claims of sexual abuse by clergy.

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The diocese covering 15 counties in rural south and west-central Minnesota filed for bankruptcy Friday, saying it's the fairest way to compensate victims of clergy sexual abuse while continuing its operations.

The diocese and some parishes faced 101 lawsuits under a Minnesota law that created a three-year window for victims to seek litigation for prior abuse.

New Ulm Bishop John LeVoir has apologized to victims and abuse survivors and says they are owed just compensation.

In Minnesota, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Duluth sought bankruptcy protection in 2015. Those cases are pending.